India's healthcare information technology market is expected to hit US$1.45 billion in 2018, more than three times the US$381.3 million reached in 2012, acccording to a report by Frost and Sullivan.
"The increase in adoption of electronic health records, mHealth, telemedicine, and Web-based services has made electronic patient data expand, necessitating the implementation of robust IT systems in Indian healthcare institutions," said the research firm.
It added growth in data, digitization trends in health information and electronic medical records, improvements in collaborative data exchange, workflows and mobility, and need for better financial management are changing the needs of the hospital enterprise.
"Additionally, patient demographic changes and chronic disease growth, cost control considerations, and the importance of patient safety, have all come together to heighten demand for Health IT in India," noted Frost and Sullivan.
Hospitals have noted that ease of integration with existing solutions is the main criterion they seek from electronic medical record (EMR) vendors, according to the report. The main challenge during and after implementation of EMR, is the time spent by doctors and employees on EMR systems. This proves how important training and education are in the uptake of such systems.
"Integrated systems will enable developers to create cloud-based solutions, where conducting upgrades and maintenance is quicker and more efficient," noted the report. In addition, the shift to wireless technology, mobile devices and cloud computing will reduce system costs and improve workflows.
Overall, the scope of HIT services is restricted to metro and Tier 1 cities, and success is expected to depend on factors such as cost versus benefit comparison, along with clear and quicker ROI, the report pointed out.